Car crime

There are certain motoring offences relating to the unauthorised use of a vehicle.

Vehicle taking without consent

You'll be charged with this offence if you take a vehicle from an owner without their permission, even though you don't intend to permanently deprive them of it. This offence also applies if you travel in or drive a vehicle that you know has been taken without consent.

An example of this offence is 'joy riding'. This is usually associated with juveniles committing this offence and the vehicle is often left abandoned. (For purposes of this offence an 'owner' also includes a person who has hired a vehicle.)

It's a defence if at the time of driving or of being carried in the vehicle, you believed you did have lawful authority or that you would have been able to get the owner's consent if they knew about it.

Aggravated vehicle taking

You would have committed this offence if you commit the offence of 'Taking a motor vehicle without consent' and any time after the vehicle was taken:

  • You drove dangerously on a road or other public place;
  • An accident happened as a result of your driving and you injured a person or damaged property (other than the vehicle); or
  • You damaged the vehicle.

It's a defence if you can prove that the driving, injury or damage occurred:

  • Before you committed the basic offence of 'Taking a motor vehicle or other conveyance without consent'; or
  • You weren't in, on or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle.

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